Mardi Gras is February 17, 2015
Kathy Cano-Murrllo at the Arizona Republic wrote this great article for us about making Halloween and Mardi Gras masks. Kathy is also known as the CraftyChica at CraftyChica.com.
Hot glue art is one of those things that make you go, “Hmm, how in the world do they do that?” – and the answer is easier than you think. It all comes down to a non-stick hot glue pad.
The primary purpose of the pad is to serve as a tidy place to rest your glue gun during crafting sessions. When it’s time to clean up, you simply peel off the glue guck.
I recently bought one and had an “aha” moment. The pad is clear, which means you can slip any kind of pattern underneath and trace out the design with the hot glue. Let it cool, peel it off and you have one very cool result. This application can be used for everything from wrist cuffs and chokers to ornaments and art embellishments. But seeing that it’s the Halloween season, I went with spider webs and eye masks. And just like M&Ms, glue sticks come in assorted colors and solid or glittered textures. You can pick up the non-stick pad and multicolored packages of glue sticks at a craft store or visit www.glu-stix.com.
Mardi Gras or Halloween Eye Mask Supplies:
1 Hot Glue Gun
2 Hot Glue Sticks, contrasting colors
1 eye mask pattern
1 Non Stick Glue Gun Pad
Gems, plastic spiders, bats (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Heat up the glue gun and insert both glue sticks. To create a two-tone effect, put the base color in the gun first, followed by the top color. Cut out the pattern and place it under the pad so the design shows through. Using the glue gun on the pad, trace over the outer lines and eye holes of the pattern by squeezing the glue in thick even lines. Now fill in the mask by squeezing the glue in swirls and squiggles throughout the mask. Make sure not to cover the eye holes. The second color will eventually come through; at that point add gems or plastic spiders if desired. Squeeze out two “rings” at each side of the mask so you can tie ribbon on later. Let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully peel the mask off the pad. Remove any hanging glue strings. Cut off two 10-inch pieces of ribbon and tie to each end of the mask.
TIPS AND VARIATIONS: Don’t try to remove the mask before it is fully cooled, otherwise it will pull apart. Heat up a second glue gun if you want to make several masks with different colors at the same time. Use a mini gun for thinner lines. Instead of masks, you can make personalized spider webs with short words or names of family members. A spider web choker would be fun.
You don’t have to be an expert crafter to pull off professional-level decorations for your home and office. Floral arrangements, wood carvings, sculptures and many other projects can be rendered flawless with a few dabs of glue from a crafting gun like the easily-handled Light Duty Hot Melt Glue Gun.
Seasonal Wreaths: Whether you want a holiday wreath adorned with holly and fake snow, a harvest wreath with colored leaves and corn or simply an all-occasion welcome wreath to hang from your front door, if you simply heat up the Light Duty Hot Melt Glue Gun or even the Detailer Mini Glue Gun, you can attach any decorations to your base without leaving a trace of messy glue showing.
Do It Yourself Bedazzling: If you have small children, they may want to dress up their clothes for special occasions, or just for playing in the dirt. With the Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun, you can easily attach plastic jewels, buttons, fabric and more to their clothing, giving them a unique look. Let them help pick out their own! Make sure to use the Jewelry Hot Melt Glue Sticks for a look that lasts.
Collages: Hot melt glue isn’t just for sticking things together anymore. The glue itself can help bring a collage or scrapbook together. Attach your pictures, movie stubs, and memories to the sheets and enhance them with Colored Hot Melt Glue Sticks or Glitter Hot Melt Glue Sticks. Why paint around your glue when you could use your glue as paint?
Getting a letter in the mail is fun for kids and adults alike, especially since emails and social networking have overtaken the personal message market. When you’re sending something special like a wedding invitation or a thank you card, it’s easy to dress it up even more by making your own wax seal.
Traditional wax seals require melting wax over an open flame, which can be dangerous and messy. It also takes time, patience and perfectionism.
With a crafty glue gun, a colored glue stick and mere seconds of your time, you can create an authentic-looking faux wax seal with hot melt glue. It’s so simple and safe, you can even let your kids help.
To make a professional-looking seal, heat up the glue gun and insert the glue stick. Stamp the seal in the clear ink. Squeeze a thin glob of glue onto the stationery where you’d like to seal. It should be about the size of a dime. Press the stamp into the glue and hold steady for five seconds. You should see a small ridge of glue squish out from the outer rim of the stamp. Remove the stamp and send off your letter.
You can easily create a marbled effect by slicing two different glue sticks. Insert the partial sticks, alternating the colors. Keep the sections of glue stick thin because seals only require a small bit of faux wax.
Making floral arrangements is a simple and rewarding craft. Whether you’re sprucing up your home to your tastes or preparing a heartfelt, personalized gift for a loved one, these arrangements add a focal point of life anywhere they’re set.
Using glue guns to permanently fix the pieces in place is the traditional way to go, but that requires a steady hand and an expert ability. With a hot glue skillet, you can easily apply glue to your pieces without glue stick strings or precision work.
- A hot glue skillet**
- Cubed glue (like Diamond Cubes Glue)**
- Artificial flowers, pinecones and greenery
- Ribbons and any other add-ons you’d like
- A base – such as a wreath, flower pot, or vase
**You can get the skillet and glue cubes together in a complete set when you buy the Floral-Craft Skillet Set.
Plug in the skillet and melt the cubed glue until the separate cubes have dissolved. Put your base on a level surface, so that the work is steady and secure. Dip the areas of your flowers and extras that will be attached to the base into the skillet one at a time. Firmly press the glued ends against the base where you’d like the flowers to set and hold for a few seconds. The flowers will be permanently attached within moments. Once you have gone through all of your pieces, your arrangement will be home-ready immediately.
One of the best things about hot melt glue is its ability to thoroughly secure three-dimensional objects to any base without those objects eventually prying loose. Unlike school glue, rubber cement or other cold glues that allow the heavier materials to slip and slide out of position, hot melt glue holds them fast at any angle without streaking or breaking.
Wipe the jewels down with a clean cloth rag to make sure all dust and residue is removed from the surface.
Heat the Detailer Mini Glue Gun. (You can use any other glue gun, by the way, just make sure to choose a small nozzle from the Glue Gun Nozzles set, so that your detail work remains pristine.) Gently insert the Jewelry Hot Melt Glue Sticks and test the stream of glue on the rag, so that the glue dispenses evenly as you dot your small gems with it.
Apply a dot of glue to the fabric or other surface of your choice, then quickly press whichever jewel you’re using first into the glue. The pressure should be gentle but firm. Keep your fingers still as the glue dries. This should take just seconds. Repeat this process until your base is covered to your satisfaction.
NOTE: If you are placing a jewel inside a jewelry base, make sure it fits correctly first. You may want to visit a local jeweler to double check that you got the sizes right. A mismatched jewel will look odd in a ring, necklace or earring setting, even if the glue is strong enough to keep it in place forever.
Matting precious photographs is onerous detail work that can be stressful due to its permanence. One glue bubble, one mis-stick and your pictures are ruined forever. Now you can avoid the precarious nature of such a craft.
Line your photo up to its matting so that the mount covers only a quarter inch of the picture on all sides. Make sure it’s straight, then tape the photo gently to the matting on three sides to temporarily secure it and hold it steady as you glue.
Heat your Photo Mount Super Low Temp. Mini Glue Gun. This won’t take long. The low temperature allows for quick heating time and delicate maneuverability. Place the Super Low Temp. Mini Glue Stick into the back of the gun and push it gently forward. Test the stream of glue on scrap paper to figure out how much pressure you’ll need to exert for the perfect photo mount without damaging your final product.
Lift the edge of the picture not secured with tape and apply one thin straight line of glue to the matting below, where the photo will attach. Gently press the picture down, pushing your fingers in a spreading motion toward the outside of the photo. This way, if you have accidentally used too much glue even after the test, that excess will not show. Repeat for the remaining three sides of the photo, gently removing the tape one section at a time.
Place the matted photo in a frame of your choice. It should fit right in the correctly sized frame and no glue will be necessary. Hang your framed memory on the wall or rest it on a table top for all to enjoy.